Fire department distributing batteries for smoke detectors

November 7, 2018

Firefighters are doing more than reminding Beatrice residents to change the batteries in their smoke detectors this week.

The department is providing free 9-volt batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and will even install them in homes if residents are unable to.

The batteries are the result of a recent grant awarded to Keep Beatrice Beautiful.

Keep America Beautiful partnered with Duracell to distribute the batteries to 72 communities in the nation through a battery grant program.

Linda Grell, executive director of Keep Beatrice Beautiful, said there are more than 36,000 batteries ready to be given away.

“It was a real thrill to be one of 72 in United States to receive this grant,” she said. “It was a little overwhelming on the number. I thought we were getting 8,000 and actually we got 36,000 batteries.”

The batteries were collected by Beatrice’s public properties department before being given to the fire department to distribute to the public at no charge.

According to information from Keep Beatrice Beautiful, two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in homes where smoke detectors either aren’t installed or aren’t working.

Jeremy Seggerman with Beatrice Fire and Rescue said during Monday’s city council meeting that anyone can stop at the fire station to get batteries, and that several people have already taken advantage of the program.

“We have these batteries for the public and they can just stop down at the fire station and pick them up,” he said. “If somebody is not able to make it down or physically change their batteries, they can call down to the station and set up a time for our guys to go install them for them and check their smoke detectors.

“We just started Saturday and have already passed out over 100 batteries. We’ve done one home installation so it’s gone really well so far and we look forward to keeping it going.”

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